Are lofi beats good for studying?

an image of a desk with a laptop, cup of coffee, and a notepad. The image it blurred, with the words are lofi beats good for studying? written over the top.

Lofi beats and studying are two things that go hand in hand. lofi has become so synonymous with studying or chilling that it’s entered the world of pop culture but are lofi beats good for studying, or is it just a myth?

It’s well-documented that listening to music can help with concentrating, however, most scientific and peer-reviewed studies have focused on either classical music or binaural beats, with only a few studies documenting whether this modern accoutrement to studying actually has any positive benefits. Fortunately, due to the sheer surge of popularity lo-fi beats have seen over the past few years, we’re starting to see a handful of studies which have seen a correlation between this style of music and improved concentration while studying.

In a 2023 study conducted by Hreish Ramzi from the San Marcos Unified School District, San Marcos, USA, lofi music was compared alongside classical music and silence, to determine whether this style of music helped with increased test results.

There’s a lot of interesting information within the study that I’d recommend you read, specifically around their decision not to include binaural beats in the comparison, the music used during the study, and their expected outcome of the study, or hypothesis.

Interestingly, Ramzi did hypothesize that classical music would perform better than lofi music, which is interesting. They do state that while lofi and classical music share a lot of similarities, from BPM and instruments used (piano and violin), lofi music largely contains a drum beat which, at times can be inconsistent, which suggests this could have an impact on the overall effect on the test subjects.

The study goes on to conclude that in comparison to those who listened to silence, lofi music “can and should serve as a viable alternative to classical music or binaural beats if needed”, with the average test scores by those listening to lofi being 72.63%, compared to an average of 63.63% for those taking the tests in silence.

So are lofi beats good for studying? Yes, in theory. However, this particular study showed that listening to classical music may help you perform better with the average score for tests taken while listening to classical was 75.38%.

What I find interesting about this study is that it suggests lofi music could be a more modern alternative to classical music with the youth of today, which makes absolute sense. According to music industry analyst Luminate’s 2023 mid-year report (via Digital Music News), R&B/hip-hop accounted for a little over 27% of on-demand streams globally, whereas classical saw only 0.8%.

Ultimately, yes lofi beats are good for studying as they share many characteristics of classical music which help with concentration, from the instruments used, the overall tempo, the frequency in which some lofi music is created (432Hz), and its more modern alternative appeal.

If you’re looking for lofi beats to help with studying, especially from smaller independent producers and musicians, check out my playlists which each feature various styles to suit whatever mood you might be in.